|Larry Dean Gonzales|
Texas State Representative from District 52 (Williamson County)
January 2011 – June 2018 (resignation)
|Preceded by||Diana Maldonado|
|Born|| January 29, 1970|
Reared in Alvin
Brazoria County, Texas
|Spouse(s)||Marie Elise Bowman Gonzales|
|Residence|| Round Rock|
Williamson County, Texas
|Alma mater|| University of Texas at Austin|
Texas State University Round Rock Campus
Former legislative staffer
Larry Dean Gonzales (born January 29, 1970) is a lobbyist from suburban Round Rock, Texas, who is a Republican former member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 52, based in Williamson County north of the capital city of Austin. The district includes a section of Austin as well as the cities of Round Rock, Georgetown, Hutto, and Taylor. He was first elected in 2010.
The son of Christian pastors and police chaplains, Gonzales was reared in Alvin in Brazoria County near Houston. In 1993, he received a bachelor's degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2011, he received his Master of Public Administration degree from the Texas State University Round Rock Campus. He is a former staff employee of the state legislature and an assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations for the overall Texas State University System. He owns a graphic design and communications company.
Gonzales resides in Round Rock with his wife, the former Marie Elise Bowman (born April 11, 1972), and their two children. Mrs. Gonzales is the chair for special education at McNeil High School in the Round Rock Independent School District.
In the 2010 Republican runoff election for House District 52, Gonzales defeated his intraparty opponent, John Gordon, 3,583 (71.4 percent) to 1,438 (28.6 percent). Then in the general election, he unseated the Democratic incumbent, Diana Maria Maldonado (born January 22, 1963) of Round Rock, 25,430 (57.4 percent) to 16,823 (38 percent). The Libertarian Party nominee, Charles McCoy, polled another 2,012 votes (4.5 percent).
In 2012, Gonzales won his second term without Democratic opposition, when he defeated the Libertarian Lillian Martinez Simmons (born September 16, 1943) of Round Rock, 31,991 (70.3 percent) to 13,526 (29.7 percent).
Gonzales served on the House committees on (1) Appropriations, (2) Technology, (3) Local and Consent Calendars, and (4) Redistricting. Gonzales, who carried the backing of pro-life groups, describes his political philosophy as "conservative", but various conservative organizations gave him mediocre ratings for the legislative votes cast.
My efforts in Texas state government are rooted in the belief that conservative principles are the key to creating an economic and social infrastructure which will allow Texas families to succeed and live happy, productive lives. Since 1993 [as an employee of the legislature], I have been working to put into a position of leadership conservative men and women who I feel strongly share my core principles – a belief in state sovereignty, private property rights, a limited and accountable government, lower taxation, and protection of our individual liberty and freedom.
In his second legislative session in 2013, Gonzales voted to forbid abortion after twenty weeks of gestation and to increase medical requirements and licensing of abortion providers. However, despite these votes and his stated pro-life position, Texas Right to Life rated him overall only 34 percent favorable in 2013, compared to 73 percent in his first term in 2011.
In 2013, Gonzales did not vote on the proposal to establish a taxpayer-funded breakfast program for public schools; the measure nevertheless passed the House, 73-58. He supported legislation to provide marshals for school security. He voted against the bill to authorize immunization of minors without parental consent, a measure which the House nevertheless approved, 71-61. He co-sponsored the law to extend the franchise tax exemption to certain businesses. He opposed the law which prohibits texting while driving. He voted to require testing for narcotics of those receiving unemployment compensation. He voted for an "equal pay for women" measure, which passed the House, 78-61. He voted to forbid the state from enforcing federal regulations of firearms, and he co-sponsored the law which allows college and university officials to carry concealed weapons in the name of campus security. He voted against term limits for certain officials.
In 2013, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, then managed in Texas by Cathie Adams, a former state chairman of the Texas Republican Party, rated Gonzales 75 percent favorable. Young Conservatives of Texas ranked him 66 percent. The interest group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, rated him 51 percent in 2013, up from 13 percent in 2011. The Texas Association of Business rated Gonzales 93 percent in 2013 and 89 percent in 2011. He ranked 57 percent in 2013 from the Texas League of Conservation Voters, compared to 75 percent in 2011. The National Rifle Association rated him 92 percent.
Gonzales won his fourth term, on November 8, 2016, 76-24 percent, over his sole challenger, Henry Paris Knetsar (born July 23, 1957), an equipment technician for Samsung Electronics, also of Round Rock, the nominee of the Libertarian Party.
In August 2017, Gonzales announced that he would not seek a fifth term in the state House. He resigned his seat in June 2018. He is a lobbyist for the University of Texas in Austin. A special election to choose his successor will be held on November 6, along with the regular state and congressional elections.
In the general election on November 6, 2018, the pro-life Republican, Cynthia Ann Hernandez Flores (born May 2, 1965) faces the Democrat James Dell Talarico (born May 17, 1989). In their respective primaries, Talarico polled 7,499 votes running unopposed. Flores trailed Talarico with 6,078 votes, but when combined with the two losing GOP contenders, the Republicans collectively received 9,989 votes. Flores also carries the support of Hispanic Republicans of Texas.
- Larry Gonzales' Biography. votesmart.org. Retrieved on February 21, 2014.
- Larry Gonzales Biography. lrl.state.tx.us. Retrieved on February 19, 2014.
- State Rep. Larry Gonzales Williamson County (R-Round Rock). The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on February 19, 2014.
- 2010 Republican runoff election returns (House District 52). elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved on February 19, 2014.
- 2010 General election returns (House District 53). elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved on February 19, 2014.
- 2012 General election returns returns (House District 52). elections.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved on February 19, 2014.
- Larry Gonzales endorsed by Texas Right to Life, March 12, 2010. texasinsider.org. Retrieved on February 19, 2014.
- Larry's Philosophy: A General Overview. larrygonzales.com. Retrieved on February 19, 2014.
- Larry Gonzales' Voting Records. votesmart.org. Retrieved on February 21, 2014.
- Larry Gonzales' Ratings and Endorsements. votesmart.org. Retrieved on February 21, 2014.
- Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (November 8, 2016). Retrieved on July 13. 2018.
- Henry Knetsar. Mylife.com. Retrieved on July 13, 2018.
- John C. Moritz (July 6, 2018). How a special election for Texas state Senate could have influenced a race for Congress: Gov. Abbott's fast-track special election for state Senate could help Republican Congressman Will Hurd in November. 'The 'Corpus Christi Caller Times. Retrieved on July 12, 2018.
- Cynthia Flores. Mylife.com. Retrieved on July 12, 2018.